Thai exports up 17.1% in 2021

Thai exports up 17.1% in 2021

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  • Thailand’s exports rose by 24.2% year-on-year in December 2021
  • Export growth for full-year 2021 is 17.1%, the highest in 11 years
  • Exports this year are expected to grow by 3% to 4% this year

Thailand’s exports rose by 24.2% year-on-year in December 2021, higher than expected and pushing the country’s growth for full-year 2021 to 17.1%, the highest in 11 years.

Exports last month came after November’s 24.7% increase, the improvement bolstered by stronger global demand and a weak baht, according to the commerce ministry.

Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit said customs-cleared exports tallied US$24.9 billion last month, while imports increased by 33.4% to $25.3 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $354 million.

For the entire year, Thailand’s exports expanded by 17.1% to $271 billion, while imports rose by 29.8% to $268 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $3.57 billion.

Jurin explained that such a strong expansion during a COVID-19 outbreak could be attributed to import acceleration in many countries to stock up prior to the holiday season, an improved environment related to the semiconductor shortage, and the implementation of the Ministry of Commerce’s export promotion plan.

At the same time, foreign demand and global trade volumes improved in line with the world’s economic recovery. Moreover, depreciation of the baht and high crude oil prices helped increase competitiveness and the value of related export products, he added.

The Ministry of Commerce predicts exports, a key growth driver for the nation, to grow 3% to 4% to $270 billion to $282 billion this year.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade pact, which came into effect on January 1, and a digital economy that increases trade opportunities and facilitates overseas market expansion via online platforms are also expected to increase Thai exports, Jurin said.

Photo by mohigan

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